Monday, March 21, 2011

My Races Continue!

This week is the lead-up to the Clinton Lake ultra on Saturday, March 26.  I started this race back in 2007 and it's good to know it will continue without me at the helm.  I retired as RD after 4 years of directing.  This race took a lot of work to start...several years of lobbying the running club, getting sponsors, DNR approval, and official course lay-out and marking.  The hardest task was club approval for the new race.  Funny how hard it can be to get something so simple done.  Fortunately, after many struggles with the local running club, the first race happened in 2007.  The inaugural race had a limit of 75 runners.  That race went well and we increased the limit to 125 for the next 3 years.  After the first year, I also created the Illinois Trail Ultra Grand Slam--this was an agreement between Clinton Lake, McNaughton Park, Rock Cut Hobo, and the Farmdale ultras to offer special awards to runners that completed all four Illinois trail ultramarathons. I believe this Grand Slam motivated lots of runners to "dream big" and do all 4 ultras.  After the 2010 event, I retired as RD of Clinton Lake and the Grand Slam.  It was time for another director to bring his or her ideas and creativity to the now established race.  Bob and Mike took it over and will have their first race (now with a 10-mile accompanying event) this weekend.  Not sure if the Grand Slam is continuing--I haven't heard much about it and the web page still lists 2010 activities.  Hope all goes well with the Clinton Lake 30 and 10 mile runs.  It feels odd, but very nice, to have no responsibilities this weekend.  Retirement is relaxing.

Another race I started, the Buffalo Trace 5-Mile Trail Run, has also found a new race director (Jen).  She'll take over from Brian, who took over for Tom, who took over for me.  I started the race in 2003 and directed it for the first two years.  It's a great little event run on local Forest Preserve trails located in my backyard.  If you are in central Illinois on May 21st, consider running this fun little race at Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve in Mahomet, IL.  Jen will do a great job as the new RD.  Unfortunately, I have an ultramarathon race that same weekend (CRUD 8/24-hour trail run).  Again, kind of weird not being responsible for any race tasks.  Relaxing, but weird.  Nice to see the race is well-established and continues no matter who is the race director.  Best of luck to Jen and all the buffalo runners that will volunteer and race on May 21.

After the Buffalo Trace 5 miler, there was another tradition that I had...the Buffalo Trace 7-Day Stage Race in May/June.  I started this 7-day "fun run" back in 2008 and it was held for 3 years.  I have no intent on continuing this race in 2011.  So, 2 races I started will continue, and one fades away.  That sits pretty well with me.  Buffalo Trace 7-Day Stage Race is still the only "race" I ever won--303 miles over 7 hot and humid days in the summer of 2008.  Crazy.


ed said...

I will miss seeing you at the helm Saturday. I for one, have great appreciation for you starting & directing this event. After being shut out the first year, I've enjoyed this "fun run" around the lake every year since.

See you at McNaughton Park, if not this weekend.

Chris said...

Hi Ed,
It'll be sad not to be directing the race I love so much this weekend...but it was time to back away and let others from the club RD. Hope you have a great time. I'm not even volunteering this year--spending time with the wife.

I'll be at Pekin.

Suza said...

It is so cool that you started 3 races!!! How did you decide which weekends to have them - was there a gap between races that you filled?
Is it true that you don't sleep the night before a race because you're scared a lot of little things will go wrong?

Chris said...


The races are all on trails I run on a regular basis and I wanted to share them with others via a race. I was president of the local running club so that gave me some extra connections into getting them started--and a few roadblocks too. I looked at the local races and found dates that worked well.

You don't sleep well for 2-3 night before the race. Lots of details to take care of and worries that things may go wrong. Plus, on race morning, I was up at 3:30am to set up registration, aid stations, and course markings. Helps to have a GREAT group of dedicated volunteers!

Jim said...

Thanks for all you have done/will continue to do for the ultra community. Your comment about the Grand Slam, "Dream Big" was exactly what motivated me to complete it last year. Hope to see you at some races later this year!!

Chris said...


Fine accomplishment for last year. I'll see you at some ultras later this year.

Jess said...

That's incredibly awesome! Thanks for all you have done for the running community!